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Georgia Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: My grandfather passed recently. How soon can I determine the validity his will which we discussed years ago
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Feb 3, 2020

Assuming your grandfather died in Georgia, you or any of his heirs can file his will for probate as soon as you have the death certificate. You will file the Will in the probate court of the county where your grandfather died.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: My brother passed away in GA. He was a homeowner & we were told we had to post this in the local paper for 90 days, why

Is this for local debtors only?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jan 19, 2020

I'm not sure what "this" is? If you were appointed administrator, you have to run a Notice to Debtors and Creditors in the local newspaper. The ad runs for 4 weeks and generally costs about $80 to run.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: My mother committed suicide in November 2019. I need help with how distribution of the estate

she wrote a letter saying she could not find her living will. We have been unsuccessful in finding it as well. She listed where her assets so go. She listed at the end that her current husband (only 9months married) is entitled to nothing and she wants him to get nothing. She has stocks, a car and... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jan 17, 2020

Because your mother died without a will, there are no considerations given for what she told others she wanted. Nor do her handwritten notes have any bearing on how her estate is to be distributed. You are required to distribute 1/3 of the estate to her spouse and divide the remaining 2/3 among... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: My grandmother passed with surving heirs do I have a right to her estate? She left me the deed to her home.

She left me the deed to her home in a safety deposit box that only she and I had access to along with some money in a POD account which I use to pay for her funeral arrangements and any outstanding bills.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 7, 2020

If your grandmother has a will, then her will governs who gets what. If she did not have a will, then the laws of intestate succession determine who gets what. There is no way to answer your question without reviewing the will or, if no will, understanding exactly what heirs survived her (spouse,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Georgia on
Q: I was a care taking for a lady with dementia. A lawyer has been granted conservatorship over her. I no longer care

for her, but am owed over $2000 in wages. First the lawyer told me he had to get on her account, then he said her had to put money in a conservatorship account and now he says he has to get approval from the court before he can pay me. It's been 3 months. What is the truth?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Jan 2, 2020

Everything you have been told is accurate. You can ask the lawyer for a copy of the documents he filed in court to get approval to pay you. You can also ask the probate court for a copy of the document he filed for permission to pay you.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Elder Law and Probate for Georgia on
Q: I was a care taking for a lady with dementia. A lawyer has been granted conservatorship over her. I no longer care

for her, but am owed over $2000 in wages. First the lawyer told me he had to get on her account, then he said her had to put money in a conservatorship account and now he says he has to get approval from the court before he can pay me. It's been 3 months. What is the truth?

Priscilla T. Upshaw
Priscilla T. Upshaw answered on Jan 1, 2020

It is difficult to provide you with an accurate answer, more information is needed. It is best to consult with an estate planning/elder law attorney who can assist you with the specifics of your case.

I wish you well.

-The Upshaw Law Firm, (770) 240-0922.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: What form needs to be completed and signed by the heirs of a deceased parent to release their interest in real property?

the will has been filed with the courts but was not taken to probate. will named spouse as beneficiary. The real property is occupied by the spouse and she is trying to refinance but needs to have the property title put in her name as it was only in her deceased husbands name.

property... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Dec 30, 2019

You have two choices. You can probate the will and transfer the real estate to the spouse by way of the Will. You can also have the spouse file a petition for year's support and ask the court to give the house to the spouse. These are the only ways to get the property transferred to the surviving... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: Dad passed, married to my stepmom 5 years. My brother took his vehicle and won’t give back. How do we get it back?

My brother has taken a car that is registered in both dad and stepmoms name. How do we get back without causing family issues?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Dec 13, 2019

This is a probate question, not estate planning. The question is very easy to answer until you throw in that last phrase. Whatever you do is going to cause family issues. If you ignore the problem, I assume the auto insurance will lapse, your brother will be arrested eventually for driving an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: In absents Of will does brother in law of deceased Sister have claim over my step fathers estates : Blood First
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 10, 2019

You have not provided enough information. Post again but the next time explain who are the living relatives of your deceased sister? Does she have any children? Was she married? Are either of her natural parents living? Was she legally adopted by anyone? Any living whole siblings? Any living... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: My father died over 4 years ago, my sisters and I was contacted by a law firm in writing telling us to file paperwork,

with the local probate court for his house.

Has too much time passed for us to claim the home?

How long do we have to file the paperwork?

He did not have a Will and there are three of us. One of us will not be able to sign the documents the courts want us to sign until... Read more »

Ellaretha Coleman
Ellaretha Coleman answered on Dec 5, 2019

You need to consult with a probate attorney to determine your options at this point.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: Is Probate or any other process (legal or otherwise) needed when there's a notarized Last Will and no real property?

My mother passed away Thursday. She has a Last Will created and notarized in 2008, listing my brother and I as inheritors (both 18+). She lived in an assisted living facility in GA, owned personal property but no real property, and received regular deposits from SSA-Disability and State Teachers... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Dec 1, 2019

You are required to file the original will with the probate court, but not for probate. Whether you need to offer it for probate depends on the amount int eh bank account. If there is less than $10,000 in your mother's bank account, the bank should divide the money between you and your brother.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: I am an only child.Dad's estate is approx.$25,000.No other heirs.He died intestate.Can I file Small Estate affidavit?

Dad died here at my home in Cherokee County. He has a 2007 Nissan truck in my driveway and he has 2 bank accts with about $8000 in each. That is all! No other possible heirs! No debts, no creditors! Do I have to file for Letters of Administration or can I file Small Estate?

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Nov 25, 2019

Georgia does not have a small estate affidavit. However, you can go to each bank and the bank is required to give to the heirs all sums under $10,000 in the bank. This is in accordance with O.C.G.A. 7-1-239. You will need a death certificate and you will need to sign an affidavit the bank will... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: I am an only child.Dad's estate is approx.$25,000.No other heirs.He died intestate.Can I file Small Estate affidavit?

Dad died here at my home in Cherokee County. He has a 2007 Nissan truck in my driveway and he has 2 bank accts with about $8000 in each. That is all! No other possible heirs! No debts, no creditors! Do I have to file for Letters of Administration or can I file Small Estate?

Dawn Louise Richards
Dawn Louise Richards answered on Nov 23, 2019

You may file a Petition with the court to dispense with administration. The judge will determine if there are other heirs or creditors by advertising in the county of residence or where property is located.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: What is the easiest way to form a simple will ?

Husband and wife to have each other as beneficiaries, and one son to be sole beneficiary after both parents are deceist.

Priscilla T. Upshaw
Priscilla T. Upshaw answered on Nov 18, 2019

It is best to consult an attorney to assist you with formation. This is the simplest and best practice.

-The Upshaw Law Firm, (770) 240-0922.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Georgia on
Q: What happens if I don’t sign for the succession but everybody else did?

The lawyer we had quit before we resolved anything. I’ve been living in my mamas trailer for 2 years next month. She told me to move in her place after she wanted to get put in the nursing home. She died 4 months after I moved in. I’m still here but my siblings was to evict me when I’ve been... Read more »

Jammie Taire
Jammie Taire answered on Nov 18, 2019

Hello. You have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your mother. This is a difficult question to answer given the information provided. I am unsure if anyone has actually filed to be named as administrator or executor based on the information provided. I will assume someone has petitioned to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: How long does it take to get letters of administration from DeKalb county Court in Georgia?

I am the named executor in a very simple will for a recently deceased relative who just had some cash and a few belongings. I have already filed the will and all necessary papers, but I'm getting answers all over the map about how long it takes to get the letters testamentary in order to begin... Read more »

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Nov 3, 2019

It depends on whether all the heirs signed the Acknowledgment of Service and Assent to Probate Instanter. If so, you will have letters in less than a month. If everyone did not sign off, then service has to occur and it will take months to get letters.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: My mom moved from GA to NC with me, we recently went to get a new license plate for her but we could not because the

title of her car had her name and her deceased husband's name on it with no and /or beside the name. The plate office told us to go to the clerk of court with a will and death certificate. When we got to the clerk of court they told us we had to go to GA as the title was in GA but we are a... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 1, 2019

You could hire a probate attorney in Georgia to assist you.

This happened as a result of your mom and dad's failure to plan properly. Do not do this to your own family. See an estate planning attorney about getting your own affairs in order so this does not happen to your heirs.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: I'm the only living heir to my dad's will before he passed he told my aunt that I will be left all he had but his sister

Who lived with him is hiding the will..I need to know how to recover a copy of the will so I can get the process started..I'm 38 with Congestive heart failure and stress is not healthy..I just need some direction on how to start this process

Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Oct 31, 2019

That might be the best answer you could hope for. Without a will, and assuming your Dad was not married when he died, and you are his only child, you get everything. However, if there are other children who died before your dad, and those children have children, then you will share with those... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: Does Georgia require a witness in addition to a Notary for a Living Trust?
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr. answered on Oct 30, 2019

Trusts should be witnessed and notarized, not necessarily to be effective, but to insure the trust's ability to transact business moving forward. If the trust is going to transfer land, then it needs to be notarized. The presence of a witness further ratifies the validity of the trust. A living... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: I have 3 kids from my first marriage one child is over 18 and 2 under 18 years old. Now I am remarried and have 2 kids

Under 6.. I do not Have a will, how would everything that belongs to me be split if i pass without a will? The house and cars are in my name and my wife’s name, and my wife is the beneficiary on my life insurance. Will everything go to my wife or will it be split between my wife and all my kids?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 22, 2019

Regarding the house and cars, it is not possible to say without reviewing the precise wording on the titles. Regarding the life insurance, if your wife is the primary beneficiary and she survives you, she will get the proceeds.

As to everything else, if your wife survives you, she will get...
Read more »

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